We describe how a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) process was used to develop a means of discussing end-of-life care needs of Deaf seniors. This process identified a variety of communication issues to be addressed in working with this special population. We overview the unique linguistic and cultural characteristics of this community and their implications for working with Deaf individuals to provide information for making informed decisions about end-of-life care, including completion of health care directives. Our research and our work with (...) members of the Deaf community strongly show that communication and presentation of information should be in American Sign Language, the language of Deaf citizens. (shrink)
Diana Tietjens Meyers examines the political underpinnings of psychoanalytic feminism, analyzing the relation between the nature of the self and the structure of good societies. She argues that impartial reason--the approach to moral reflection which has dominated 20th-century Anglo-American philosophy--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. ____Subjection and Subjectivity__ is central to feminist thought across a wide range of disciplines.
The cultural imagery of women is deeply ingrained in our consciousness. So deeply, in fact, that feminists see this as a fundamental threat to female autonomy because it enshrines procreative heterosexuality as well as the relations of domination and subordination between men and women. Diana Meyers' book is about this cultural imagery - and how, once it is internalized, it shapes perception, reflection, judgement, and desire. These intergral images have a deep impact not only on the individual psyche, but (...) also on the social, political, and cultural syntax of society as a whole. Meyer's argues for the necessity of crafting a dissident, empowering, and 'emancipatory counter-imagery' for women. Rigorous, well written, and accessible, the reach of Gender in the mirror is arguably catholic, and addresses the interests or readers across an impressive range of intellectual disciplines. (shrink)
This book examines in great detail the different aspects of dominant individualistic ideas about persons. It tries to argue that an alternative conception of persons, favored by many feminist thinkers, is more complicated than is often thought but can be shown to be a reasonable and plausible conception.
Ever since Freud pioneered the “talking cure,” psychologists of various stripes have explored how autobiographical narrative bears on self-understanding and psychic wellbeing. Recently, there has been a wave of philosophical speculation as to whether autobiographical narrative plays an essential or important role in the constitution of agentic selves. However, embodiment has received little attention from philosophers who defend some version of the narrative self. Catriona Mackenzie is an important exception to this pattern of neglect, and this paper explores Mackenzie’s work (...) on embodiment and self-narrative with the aim of better understanding the adequacy of autobiographical narrative as an account of the agentic self. I argue that Mackenzie’s narrative account of embodied subjectivity and agency is incomplete, for it over-estimates the reach of narrative and underestimates the cognitive and agentic powers of the lived body. (shrink)
How is women’s conception of self affected by the caregiving responsibilities traditionally assigned to them and by the personal vulnerabilities imposed on them? If institutions of male dominance profoundly influence women’s lives and minds, how can women form judgments about their own best interests and overcome oppression? Can feminist politics survive in face of the diversity of women’s experience, which is shaped by race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, as well as by gender? Exploring such questions, leading feminist thinkers have (...) reinvigorated work on the concept of self and personal identity, as demonstrated by the discussions in this insightful volume.The concerns that animate feminist scholarship have prompted feminist philosophers to sideline the theme of individualism and to focus on the theme of intersubjectivity. In conceptualizing the self, the contributors to this volume highlight emotional bonds among people, the stories people tell one another, and the systems of categories and behavioral norms that unite and divide groups of people. Topics addressed include sexual violence and the self, the social self and autonomy, the narrative self and integrity, self-ownership and the body, forgetting yourself and your race, group membership and personal identity, grief and gender, sympathy and women’s diversity, emotion and emancipatory epistemology, and dependency and justice. This volume will be important reading for students of feminist theory, ethics, and social and political philosophy. (shrink)
Access to abortion services in the United States continues to decline. It does so not because of significant changes in legislation or court rulings but because fewer and fewer physicians wish to perform abortions and because most states now have "conscientious objection" legislation that makes it easy for physicians to refuse to do so. We argue in this paper that physicians have an obligation to perform all socially sanctioned medical services, including abortions, and thus that the burden of justification lies (...) upon those who wish to be excused from that obligation. That is, such persons should have to show how requiring them to perform abortions would represent a serious threat to their fundamental moral or religious beliefs. We use current California law as an example of legislation that does not take physicians' obligations into account and thus allows them too easily to declare conscientious objection. (shrink)
This book is the first to offer a detailed analysis of Aristotelian and Kantian ethics together, in a way that remains faithful to the texts and responsive to debates in contemporary ethics. Recent moral philosophy has seen a revival of interest in the concept of virtue, and with it a reassessment of the role of virtue in the work of Aristotle and Kant. This book brings that re-assessment to a new level of sophistication. Nancy Sherman argues that Kant preserves (...) a notion of virtue in his moral theory that bears recognisable traces of the Aristotelian and Stoic traditions, and that his complex anthropology of morals brings him into surprising alliance with Aristotle. She develops her argument through close readings of major texts by both Aristotle and Kant, illustrating points of congruence and contrast. (shrink)
In Buddhism, Meditation and Free Will: A Theory of Mental Freedom , Rick Repetti explains how the dynamics of Buddhist meditation can result in a kind of metacognition and metavolitional control that exceeds what is required for free will and defeats the most powerful forms of free will skepticism. This article argues that although the Buddhist path requires and enhances the kind of mental and volitional control Repetti describes, the central dynamic of the path and meditation is better understood as (...) a process of habituation. This not only involves the dis‐identification from mental and emotional content that Repetti discusses—and is commonly emphasized in modern presentations of mindfulness or insight (vipassanā ) meditation—but also a transformation of the heart that is effected through the complementary psychological and somatic qualities associated with calm abiding (samatha ) and concentration (samādhi ) and emphasized in the Pali Nikāyas and commentaries. (shrink)
Joshua Greene and Peter Singer argue, on the basis of empirical evidence, that deontological moral judgments result from emotional reactions while dispassionate reasoning leads to consequentialist judgments. Given that there are good reasons to doubt these emotionally driven intuitions, they argue that we should reject Kantian ethics. I argue that the evidence does not support the claim that consequentialism is inherently more reason-based or less emotion-based than Kantian ethics. This is partly because the experiments employ a functional definition of ‘deontological’ (...) that is so broad as to include any non-consequentialist theory, including virtue ethics, divine command theory, and even rule-utilitarianism. Thus the experiments failed to capture the reasons behind the judgments. Also, the results of the experiments are partly due to the extensive use of moral dilemmas like the footbridge version of the trolley scenario. The options in these dilemmas involve different levels of moral thinking. The consequ.. (shrink)
The idea that the self is in need of rethinking, as the title to this collection of essays suggests, presupposes that the self has already been “thought.” And indeed it has—both explicitly, by philosophers, and implicitly, in the practices of everyday life. For philosophers, this thinking about the self has taken place largely in abstract terms; persons have been treated as metaphysical-cum-moral subjects, disembodied minds that could plausibly be split from or melded with other such minds, or as rational agents, (...) capable of choosing a plan in terms of which to live their lives. In everyday life, in contrast, we “think” one another as selves by making assumptions about how the people we encounter fit into the social landscape and about how we ourselves have a place in the world. As the essays in this collection demonstrate, feminists have challenged both ways of thinking of selfhood in various, sometimes contradictory, ways. (shrink)
Victim's Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights takes on a set of questions suggested by the worldwide persistence of human rights abuse and the prevalence of victims' stories in human rights campaigns, truth commissions, and international criminal tribunals: What conceptions of victims are presumed in contemporary human rights discourse? How do conventional narrative templates fail victims of human rights abuse and resist raising novel human rights issues? What is empathy, and how can victims frame their stories to overcome empathetic (...) obstacles and promote commitment to human rights? How can victims' stories be used ethically in the service of human rights? The book addresses these concerns by analyzing the rhetorical resources for and constraints on victims' ability to articulate their stories and by clarifying how their stories can contribute to enlarged understandings of human rights protections and deepened commitments to realizing human rights. It theorizes the normative content that victims' stories can convey and the bearing of that normative content on human rights. Throughout the book, published victims' stories-including stories of torture, slavery, genocide, rape in wartime, and child soldiering-are analyzed in conjunction with philosophical arguments. This book mobilizes philosophical theory to illuminate victims' stories and appeals to victims' stories to enrich the philosophy of human rights. (shrink)
The global turn in media ethics has presented a tough challenge for traditional models of moral theory: How do we assert common moral standards while also showing respect for the values of those from outside the Western tradition? The danger lies in advocating for either extreme: reason-dependent absolutism or cultural relativism. In this paper, I reject Cliff Christian’s attempts to solve the problem and propose instead a moral theory of universal standards that are discovered via a mix of rationally grounded (...) methods. Such universality refutes relativism but, because it is grounded in evolutionary naturalism and life-world philosophy—as opposed to a Kantian or theological transcendentalism—it also avoids absolutism. (shrink)
_Virtue as Social Intelligence: An Empirically Grounded Theory_ takes on the claims of philosophical situationism, the ethical theory that is skeptical about the possibility of human virtue. Influenced by social psychological studies, philosophical situationists argue that human personality is too fluid and fragmented to support a stable set of virtues. They claim that virtue cannot be grounded in empirical psychology. This book argues otherwise. Drawing on the work of psychologists Walter Mischel and Yuichi Shoda, Nancy E. Snow argues that (...) the social psychological experiments that philosophical situationists rely on look at the wrong kinds of situations to test for behavioral consistency. Rather than looking at situations that are objectively similar, researchers need to compare situations that have similar meanings _for the subject_. When this is done, subjects exhibit behavioral consistencies that warrant the attribution of enduring traits, and virtues are a subset of these traits. Virtue can therefore be empirically grounded and virtue ethics has nothing to fear from philosophical situationism. (shrink)
In this article I describe the theoretical underpinnings of 20th-century British philosopher W. D. Ross's approach to linking deontological and teleological decision making. I attempt to fill in what Ross left on the whole unanswered, that is, how to use his duties to resolve dilemmas. A case study in journalism demonstrates how to apply the theory. I conclude with an analysis of what I take to be the strengths and weaknesses in Ross's theory.
Introduction -- In search of global traits -- Habitual virtuous actions and automaticity -- Social intelligence and why it matters -- Virtue as social intelligence -- Philosophical situationism revisited -- Conclusion.
While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training "to suck it up," to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission. Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic philosophy actually is, (...) the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history--ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq--Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman--a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy--explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor. Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life. (shrink)
Recently, empirically minded philosophers have employed evidence of widespread, fundamental moral disagreement to argue against moral realism. I argue that the empirical evidence does not refute realism because the disagreement is consistent with certain pluralistic versions of moral realism that posit a set of pro tanto normative principles. Others have appealed to pluralism in defense of moral realism but have used pluralism to attack the empirically based approach to ethical theory. Although I argue that the empirical argument against moral realism (...) fails, I defend the approach and suggest better ways that (pluralist) moral realism could be tested empirically. (shrink)
Most traditional accounts of Aristotle's theory of ethical education neglect its cognitive aspects. This book asserts that, in Aristotle's view, excellence of character comprises both the sentiments and practical reason. Sherman focuses particularly on four aspects of practical reason as they relate to character: moral perception, choicemaking, collaboration, and the development of those capacities in moral education. Throughout the book, she is sensitive to contemporary moral debates, and indicates the extent to which Aristotle's account of practical reason provides an alternative (...) to theories of impartial reason. (shrink)
Abstract Hybrid languages are introduced in order to evaluate the strength of “minimal” mereologies with relatively strong frame definability properties. Appealing to a robust form of nominalism, I claim that one investigated language Hm is maximally acceptable for nominalistic mereology. In an extension Hgem of Hm, a modal analog for the classical systems of Leonard and Goodman (J Symb Log 5:45–55, 1940) and Lesniewski (1916) is introduced and shown to be complete with respect to 0- deleted Boolean algebras. We characterize (...) the formulas of first-order logic invariant for Hgem-bisimulations. (shrink)
This paper addresses three commentaries on Victims' Stories and the Advancement of Human Rights. In response to Vittorio Bufacchi, it argues that asking victims to tell their stories needn't be coercive or unjust and that victims are entitled to decide whether and under what conditions to tell their stories. In response to Serene Khader, it argues that empathy with victims' stories can contribute to building a culture of human rights provided that measures are taken to overcome the implicit biases and (...) colonialist interpellations she identifies. In response to Andrea Westlund, it proposes a taxonomy of types of narrative closure and offers some arguments to strengthen her view that empathy with victims' stories endows audience members with a new reason and new motivation to support human rights. (shrink)